India Travel

Colorful Rajasthan: India’s Scenic State in Five Days, Part Two

Jagmandir Palace on Lake Pichola in Udaipur, the white city, Rajasthan, IndiaStory and photos by Libor Pospisil.

White city: The brevity of my trip forced me to give up a poetic train trip to the city of Udaipur and take a mundane, one-hour flight instead. Udaipur’s historical district is famous for its breezy location on the sloping shores of Lake Pichola. No wide boulevards could fit there, merely steep and narrow streets, some of them accessible only by tuk-tuk. That is how I also traveled, with my luggage, to the guesthouse where I stayed in a haveli, one of the cozy, multi-story townhouses on the lakeshore. The top terrace had a restaurant with panoramic views of the city, the lake, and the surrounding mountains. Udaipur receives more rain than the rest of the state, which makes the landscape surprisingly lush for Rajasthan.



Colorful Rajasthan: India’s Scenic State in Five Days, Part One

The lakeshore in Udaipur at Gangaur Ghat , Rajasthan, IndiaStory and photos by Libor Pospisil.

Rajashan’s beauty comes from the seamless melding of culture and nature. It is sprinkled with old and colorful cities, royal palaces, fortresses, temples, mountains, lakes, deserts, and national parks. Calling Rajasthan “colorful” is such a cliché, but since I traveled there right after Holi, the festival of colors,  I think it right to use “colorful”. Unfortunately, I missed the Holi festival, and, on top of that, I only managed to set aside five days to sweep through this vast state at the far northwestern edge of India. Perhaps that made the Rajasthan experience even stronger.




Varanasi: On The Banks Of The Ganges

Varanasi, IndiaStory and Photos by Lee Daley.    The spiritual capital of India, Varanasi rests on the most sacred stretch of the Ganges. Sanctified by Shiva’s eternal presence, the “City of Light” is foremost among the 12 sites where the god burrowed and then burst into the atmosphere in a brilliant column of light. Leading up from the river, about 87 broad steps known as ghats are backed by a cliff-like array of temples, shrines and towers. Because Varanasi is situated along the western bank of the Ganges with the river flowing south to north, daybreak dawns dramatically to the east where fields and trees embrace the first light of day. As the sun rises, it casts a golden glow on the holy waters and the bathing ghats, eventually warming the temples and shrines above the steps while the sky shifts color from pink to purple to blue.




In Dharamsala. Finding my Cup of Tea

Story and Photos by Lee Daley.    Dharamsala came to light on the world map in 1959 when His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama fled Tibet and subsequently established his “government in exile” there. Upwards of 100,000 Tibetan exiles have since settled in Dharamsala with most of them living in the village of McLeod Ganj near the higher elevation of the city. Also known as a hill station, Dharamsala’s name means “spiritual dwelling,” because it originated as a resting place for trekkers on pilgrimage.


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